Wednesday, December 22, 2004
It's been used by many a parent to intimidate their children into being good for at least one month of the year. It's that list - you know, the one immortalized in the song, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." You know the line: "He's making a list, checking it twice. Gonna find out who's naughty and nice." I never wanted to be on that naughty list. (Warning: Cover your child's ears at this point.) Then I found out there's no such list.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Most Important List This Christmas."
There is a list that it would be very wise to think about this Christmas. And it's very real. It's a list God has. And no one's on it because they've been "nice." In fact, the Bible says that no one is good enough to be on this list - not you, not me, not the most religious person you know. Because no one even comes close to living up to a holy God's standard of perfection. Using that as His standard, God says in the Bible, "There is none righteous, not even one" ( Romans 3:10).
The list God has is one it's critical to be on - eternally critical. Jesus called it the "book of life" - that's eternal life. God has the names of every person who's going to heaven in that book. And your name is either in that book or it isn't. Jesus told some people who had put their trust in Him to "rejoice that your names are written in heaven" ( Luke 10:20). And in our word for today from the Word of God in Revelation 20:15, there's a sobering picture of that book being opened on Judgment Day, and a compelling reason why we really need to be sure our name is there. The Bible says: "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
That is not what God wants. The Bible says that "He is not wanting that anyone should perish" ( 2 Peter 3:9). So, in the most incredible act of love in human history, God sent His one and only Son that first Christmas, for the express purpose of ultimately paying the price for our sin in our place. On that first Christmas, the angels told those shepherds, "A Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" ( Luke 2:11). That's "Savior" as in rescuer - someone who saves you from a deadly situation you can't possibly save yourself from. That's us - the rebels of the universe. The angels do what God tells them, the heavens do what God tells them, and even demons must obey His commands. We're the only ones who dare to say to God, "You run the universe. I'll run me." We may never say it that way, but we've all turned our back many times on what God wants and lived our life our way. That is spiritual hijacking, punishable by eternal death.
But there's this book of life. People who will never have to pay the death penalty they deserve. Why? The Bible says, "He that has the Son (that's Jesus) has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life" ( 1 John 5:12). For you to be rescued by the One who came to save you, you have to grab Him as if He's your only hope. The moment you do, every wrong thing you've ever done is erased from God's book and your name is entered in God's book of life in indelible ink. God made His move at the cross. Now it's your move.
If you sense a tug in your heart to open up to Jesus, listen to that. That's God drawing you, and you can't come without it. This is way too important to ignore or postpone. Let this be the day when you turn from running your own life and give yourself to the Man who died so you can live. I want to send you my booklet about this called Yours For Life. I wrote it to help someone begin their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you want that relationship, let me know so I can send it to you.
I don't know when your last chance will be to have your name entered in God's book of life - no one does. But the risk of missing heaven just is not worth the delay. This can be the day you literally cross over from spiritual death to eternal life. He is waiting to enter your name.